KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
November 30, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
For 7 years Graeme’s Run has become a Katy favorite family charitable event designed to raise awareness and honor Katy boy Graeme McDaniel who died at 2 1/2 years old of a heart condition. This Giving Tuesday is special as it’s the first for new Graeme McDaniel Foundation that will focus on local congenital heart defect research while supporting Katy families.
Finding Purpose Through Grief
Graeme McDaniel was born in Katy on December 18, 2021 after a healthy pregnancy to longtime Katy residents. “We had an emergency delivery after the doctor detected his heart rate in the 70s at my 34-week appointment,” says mom Stephanie McDaniel. “He was diagnosed with Double Outlet Right Ventricle, Malposed Great Vessels, VSD, Coarctation of the Aorta, Straddling Mitral Valve, Aortic Valve Hypoplasia, and Complete Heart Block.”
After birth, Graeme was rushed to the Texas Medical Center where he underwent a coarctation repair, a pacemaker was placed, and a pulmonary artery band was placed. He was released from the hospital after 44 days after two surgeries.
After a happy and mostly normal short life, Graeme McDaniel died on May 3, 2015 at 2 ½ years old.
“We were devastated and still are in complete shock, as we are left to try to find our new normal and purpose,” says Stephanie McDaniel.
The McDaniel Family, especially Stephanie, turned their grief into purpose and started Graeme’s Run in 2016. The event has quickly become a favorite for many Katy families with it offering family activities, awareness, and of course honoring Graeme.
Over $650K Raised in 7 Years
Graeme’s Run continues to help local heart families. Since the runs start 7 years ago it has raised over $650,000. Now they hope to add to that impact through The Graeme McDaniel Foundation.
“In September we formed The Graeme McDaniel Foundation,” says Stephanie. “We will focus on funding local congenital heart defect research with our major heart centers and also support heart families that are traveling for care.”
The event will take place February 26, 2022 at No Label Brewery. The run will start at 9:00 a.m. with day of registration opening at 8:00 a.m. Family entertainment will include face painting, food, raffles, silent auction, the Righteous Cause Band, balloon art and more.
Giving Tuesday in Katy
Katy is full of many great non-profits to give to this Giving Tuesday and any day. For some ideas of other local charities to give to click here.
Learn more about The Graeme McDaniel Foundation at their website and see how you can give and get involved.
“I felt ready and prepared to start our own foundation in Graeme’s name,” says Stephanie. “This has been on my heart for a while, and it's a gift to feel we were in the position to proceed!”